Last weekend’s Celebration of Hope was a wonderful picture of God’s ongoing work in seeking and saving the lost. More than 125,000 people attended the six different rallies, and almost 6,000 people responded to the invitation at the altar calls. Let us give thanks to God for his immeasurable love and grace in drawing so many people unto himself!
While I had the joy of being in the stadium itself for two of the rallies, it was also quite inspiring to have had the opportunity to watch the live stream of the Saturday evening rally on my computer at home. It allowed me to actually see more clearly the faces of the people who responded to the invitation of the evangelist, as they walked down from their seats to the stadium floor. I saw people of different ages and backgrounds responding. And it was also very moving to see some people who were overcome with emotion as they made their way down. I can only assume that they might have been accompanying a loved one who had been drawn by the Holy Spirit to respond to the call of God. What an answer to prayer!
I have also personally been told of incredible breakthroughs that took place last weekend. People who had in the past been resistant to the gospel willingly came to the rallies when invited. In one case, a friend’s aunt who had never shown any interest in the past to the things of Christianity accepted an invitation, from another cousin, who was herself a non-believer. More amazingly, there were stories of people who not only unexpectedly went to the rallies, but actually accepted the invitation of the evangelists at the end, and gave their lives to Christ.
These many testimonies tell us that God is doing something special in our nation. I believe that there is a new openness to the gospel in our society, that has come about because God is answering the prayers of His people. And He is in the midst of healing our land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
For this reason, I believe that this is only just the beginning. The Celebration of Hope is meant to be a catalyst, not the culmination of our Year of Proclamation. We should continue to pray, engage and gather our family, friends and neighbours who have yet to come to faith in Jesus. As our Lord pointed out, “Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” (John 4:35) The harvest is now. And we are the labourers who are called to bring it in!